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With New Diocese of Gallup Disclosure: Why No Diego Mazon, O.F.M?

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This past week,  the Diocese of Gallup disclosed 31 new names of credibly disclosed priests.  This is an addition to the names of 11 priests from 2002.  The new names are really not new.  They are names that they should have known earlier and that they should have disclosed.   I found it interesting to reflect on a 2011 article from the   Gallup Independent (Gallup, NM):

In 2003, the Gallup Diocesan Review Board on Juvenile Sexual Abuse issued a news release saying five Gallup priests had been accused of sexual abuse.

The board, however, has never had the authority to actually inspect Gallup personnel files, so its members have been dependent on Gallup chancery officials to give them accurate information.

Eight years later, there’s no evidence Gallup chancery officials have provided accurate information to either its own sex abuse review board or to the public. As a result, here are the remaining eight names of the list of 16 known priests associated with the Diocese of Gallup who have been publicly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

However, this list does not include the names of clergy with only suspected abuse allegations or publicly accused clergy who have been returned to ministry. It does not include the names of clergy accused of sexual misconduct, such as those who have sexually assaulted or sexually harassed adult victims. It doesn’t include clergy who have had consensual relationships with adult men or women or clergy who have fathered children. It also does not include clergy accused of “boundary violations” — inappropriate behavior — with minors or adults.

The new list had all of the names that the 2011 article talked about.  In fact, when you look at the 16 names you see priests who were active at the time of the original disclosures.   Would it have made a difference to have a name out in the public who was in active Priesthood at the time?  Would it have protected just one more child?  The  answer really is as much about who was making the choice not to disclose as it is about even if another person was abused.   Those  who have been making the choices can not be trusted to disclose.  They must be forced in every jurisdiction to disclose all names and all files.

Looking at the first and now second list there still seems to be an omission.  Where is  Diego Mazon?

Diego Mazon, O.F.M.: This Franciscan priest served in both the Diocese of Gallup and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. While in the Gallup Diocese, Mazon worked in Gallup and San Fidel, N.M., and on the Navajo Nation in St. Michaels and Fort Defiance, Ariz. In 2005, an adult Hispanic woman filed a civil lawsuit against Mazon, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist in Cincinnati (Bernalillo County District Court Case No. D-202-CV-200503804). The plaintiff claimed Mazon repeatedly sexually abused her during her childhood when he was her parish priest in Roswell, N.M. Church officials negotiated a confidential settlement with the victim and made no public statement about Mazon’s removal from ministry at Gallup’s St. Francis of Assisi Church. Instead, parishioners were told Mazon stepped down for health reasons. Mazon is believed to be living at the Franciscans’ Juan Diego Friary, along with former Santa Fe Archbishop Robert Sanchez.

Names that are not disclosed need to be scrutinized as to why not.  Especially  when they still are out walking around.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.